One Day 2013 {#onedayhh}

My dad told me that he loved this post when I did it last year, so here I am again! A Day in the Life of Me.

morning light 3I still can’t get over the morning light in our home.

another pic of mowgliMowgli likes the light too.

walking the dog

This was the first morning I had to wear mittens during our walk.

work collageScenes from the youth center: collection for Operation Christmas Child // decaf coffee with hot chocolate mix // our messy full calendar of events

hunger signAnd we made signs in preparation for The Walk for Hunger and Homeless next week.

shawn grilled cheeseI came home to this: grilled cheese, the episodes of New Girl we missed, and an early bedtime.

I’m linking up with Laura at The Hollywood Housewife here!


I’m baaaack!

Let me explain:

I had every intention of finishing 31 Days in the Open Air. I only had four days left! But as we neared the departure time for our vacation, other things took precedence over writing and scheduling blog posts (things like: searching for my lost passport, packing, and throwing a party). And then once we were on our cruise, wifi cost a whopping $0.75 a minute. And it was incredibly slow. I figured I would store up some great posts and share them when we returned… only to discover, once we got home, that the internet at our apartment wasn’t working. We finally got it up and running last night.

So, here I am. Two weeks late, but I do have some great stuff to share! Our regularly scheduled programming will commence on Monday.

Please enjoy this picture of Mowgli with his new haircut and have a great weekend!


A Saturday Morning at Home

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This is my first Saturday morning at home since June. Shawn is golfing and Mowgli spent the night at the vet (hopefully passing the sock he ate). I made blueberry crisp, a second pot of coffee, and I am scheming ways to use all these vegetables that I stole from a friends garden. And blogging.

I am thinking about participating in The Nester’s 31 Day Blogging Challenge beginning on October 1st. I heard about it too late last year, and admired the people (all 1,200 of them!) that wrote for every single day of October. It seems like a worthwhile challenge. But, I need to think of a theme. And then apparently I need to make a button? I don’t which seems harder, button-making or blogging for 31 days straight. If I don’t start next Tuesday, you’ll know its because I couldn’t for the life of me make a button.

A few of my favorites from the internet recently:

School is no Place for a Reader by Jennifer A. Franssen. I simultaneously relate to this as the child reader and as the adult that asks kids to put down the book and play. Encouraged and convicted.

Crossing Paths on the Rouge River by Wilderness Dave. This encapsulates the beauty and power of spending your life outdoors and sharing it with others.

Embracing the Tension by Rebekah Lyons. It seems like all of my favorite authors will be speaking at this conference. So I have to go, right?

I’m currently reading Life After Art by Matt Appling and I want to recommend it to my artist friends and my teacher friends and my non-artist friends and my non-teacher friends. It’s really good. I’ve already worked it in to a few conversations at work this week about how we can encourage “creating” at the youth center.

Have a wonderful weekend!

We Moved!

walking trail

This is a walking trail behind our new home…. Conveniently located next to a golf course.

Remember when our dryer vent caught on fire and we had to move out of our apartment? Well, that was three months ago. And this past weekend, we finally moved into our new place! I would show you pretty pictures, but I don’t have any, because there are still boxes and piles of clothes everywhere. But I’ll tell you this: all of my books are on shelves, I made my first batch of rice krispie treats in months, and I can see the sunrise from my bed. So all-in-all, we’re loving it.

Fall weather arrived this past weekend, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I love the changing of seasons, and I am excited for our new season in this home!

It is time for a vacation.

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I don’t remember the last time that I have been this ready for a trip home. It has been a crazy summer, and I am ready step into September without looking back. But first: a trip to Minnesota. Raspberry chocolate chip ice cream, BBQ chicken pizza, the State Fair, a few days up north, and plenty of time with family and friends. I couldn’t be more excited!

I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging break for the next few weeks. After our vacation, we’ll be moving into our new apartment! Finally! So with all that hubbub, I will see you back here after Labor Day!

P.S. I finally got my 20 mile hike in last Friday! My heels still hurt… What does that mean? I’m relieved to finally be “tapering”… aka sitting on my parents couch eating popcorn and watching musicals. Hurrah!

Fridays are for saying goodbye to 26.

I turn 27 tomorrow. I’m not going to get overly emotional or retrospective or anything, but my twenty-sixth year has been something special. This past year will go down in the history books as the year I grew old. And here are five reasons why:

1. I stopped getting carded. I thought this might stop when I got my wedding ring, or whenever I eat out with my bearded husband. But it didn’t stop until this year: suddenly, I look older than 21. Or, according to those yellow and red labels and the liquor store, I look “over 30”. Yikes.

2. I cry at the news. It started with the shooting at Newtown. But who didn’t cry then, right? I’m not really a crier. Greeting cards and baby commercials don’t move me to tears. But I could not stop. I cried reading twitter. I cried in church. And now I can’t even watch the news. And if something big is trending on twitter, forget about it.

3. I started wearing sunscreen all the time. Those wrinkles might not be here yet, but they are in the future. They’re coming for me. And who cares if  I am tan? No one. Who cares if I look like a pug when I turn thirty? Everyone. (That might be a slight exaggeration. You know what I mean.)

4. I don’t really like to drive anymore. I loved to drive. I drove a shuttle in college. I was always the one that offered to take people places. And now? I told Shawn that I didn’t want to meet him for dinner tonight because I couldn’t bear the thought of getting back in my car.

5. Erasing McDonald’s from my diet does not automatically make me lose weight. This did use to work, actually, and now it doesn’t.

To celebrate growing old, I will work all day on Saturday and tonight I am taking Mowgli to the vet for a split toe nail. Both promise to be good times! Have a great weekend!

Fridays are for the #wcagls.

I am spending my Friday (after I spent my Thursday) at a local viewing location for the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. The summit is a two-day conference, highlighting the best leadership minds from around the world. So far, each talk has been different, but no less inspiring and challenging than the others. I am terrible at live-tweeting, and taking notes, so if you’re interested in learning more, I am not your girl. But there are a number of people live-blogging the event, and you can find them here:

Laura Turner at

Marty Duren at Kingdom In The Midst

Phil Steinbrueck at Live Intentionally

Enjoy! Happy Weekend!

Hello, August.

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Hello, August.

Let me be straight with you from the get go: I have high hopes for you. I had high hopes for this summer, but all-in-all, its kinda been a let down. Blame it on the apartment fire, or taking the pup to the animal hospital, or not being able to find a place to live. Blame it on the pouring rain and blistering heat. Truth be told, I could have skipped right over June and July.

But you, August. You’re my favorite. My birthday month, my month to visit Minnesota, the month where all the pretenses of having a “productive summer” fall by the wayside as we devote every waking hour to soak up every. last. bit. of sunshine before September first.

I am starting a new summer right now, a clean slate, and I know you won’t let me down.

I am ready to swim and run and play. I am ready to soak my feet in the river, and drink coffee on the front porch, and read good fiction in the backyard. I am ready to cook on the grill and eat vegetables and watch the fireflies come out of the woods at dusk. I’m sorry for wishing this summer away, for my bad attitude, and I am ready to fall back in love with you, August. 

Now, please stop raining so I can let the dog out.

Yours truly.

Fridays are for moving.

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Two and a half weeks after our dryer vent caught on fire, we are moving this weekend. Our electricity has been off since we left, so we will be packing boxes and hauling everything into the storage unit without AC, hot water, and lights. And everything still smells like smoke. It’s not exactly ideal moving conditions. But this was our first home as a young married couple, and I am feeling a little nostalgic as we are rushing to leave. We are happy to be moving forward, and we are so thankful for our friends who offered to help!

I hope you have an extra-great holiday weekend!

Running and Anne Lammott

Confession: I haven’t actually read Anne Lammott’s Bird by Bird. Yet. It’s on my to-read list. But I have read a few of her other books, and I have read a number of books that quote her– this passage, specifically.

If you are not careful, station KFKD will play in your head twenty-four hours a day, nonstop, in stereo. Out of the right speaker in your inner ear will come the endless stream of self-aggrandizement, the recitation of one’s specialness, of how much more open and gifted and brilliant and knowing and misunderstood and humble one is. Out of the left speaker will be the rap songs of self-loathing, the lists of all the things one doesn’t do well, all the mistakes one has made today and over an entire lifetime, the doubt, the assertion that everything one touches turns to shit, that one doesn’t do relationships well, that one is in every way a fraud, incapable of selfless love, that one has no talent or insight, and on and on and on.

I thought about this on my run last week. And I thought about Geneen Roth, who I can’t quote accurately, because her book is at my apartment, but she says something along the lines of “we would never criticize someone else the way we criticize ourselves.” That’s my paraphrase, anyway.

I was not thrilled with that run. And I told myself so. But I would never be so mean to someone else who had done the same run. I would have encouraged them! That was a great! What a workout! How might I be different if I treated myself that way?

What “radio station” do you listen to while you run? How do you deal with your inner critic?